How to Break Down a Whole Chicken Wing (w/ Chef Michele Ragussis) (Video)

I think most of us think of chicken wings as the flat and the drumstick we always end up getting covered in buffalo sauce at any sports bar, but not sure if most people know that it doesn’t usually show up that way to the restaurant. The flat and drumstick we usually see are actually connected and even have a third piece attached at the end of the flat; the tip. These three pieces together make an entire chicken’s wing.

There are some benefits to getting the wing in it’s more complete form; it’s cheaper than buying them precut, it can be a fresher/higher quality cut, and the tips, that normally get thrown away, can be used to make a delicious chicken stock (look at us using all the animal!). Only downside is the labor and the slightly squeamish feeling you might get from crunching a bone under a heavy knife.

Thankfully though, Chef Michele Ragussis was on hand to do the dirty work for us! Here’s how she recommends breaking them down.

What You Need

  • Whole chicken wing
  • Heavy knife (cleaver)

Break Down the Whole Chicken Wing

1. Spread the chicken wing out flat on the table.

2. Cut off the small tip on one end by feeling where the joint is and chopping down hard with a cleaver or similar heavy knife (watch your own finger tips).

3. Save the tips for a chicken stock or discard them.

4. Spread the wing again and feel for the cartalidge, or tough piece, in between what will become the flat and the drumstick.

5. Chop down hard with the clever at that point to separate the flat and drumstick.

6. Throw in your marinate, breading, or whatever other way you plan to prepare your wings for dinner.

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